Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

The Role of Sports as a Determinant of Popularity among High School Students

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

The Role of Sports as a Determinant of Popularity among High School Students

Article excerpt

William T. Weinberg, University of Louisville

The primary purpose of this study was to examine the importance that high school freshmen place on sports as a determinant of their own popularity and the popularity of their male and female classmates. A secondary purpose was to determine whether participation in sports or activities that have traditionally been considered gender role appropriate influence high school students' popularity. In addition, the influence of school context was examined by comparing the responses of freshmen from four public coeducational high schools (n = 696) with those of freshmen from four single-sex parochial high schools (n = 748). The survey used was originally developed by Buchanan, Blankenbaker, and Cotton (1976) and subsequently used by Chase and Dummer (1992) and Weinberg (1996). The instrument asked students to rank four popularity determinants ("making good grades," "having lots of money," "being good at sports," and "being attractive") and seven sports or school-sponsored activities according to their importance for m aking oneself and male and female classmates popular. Chi-square analyses (p [less than] .05) were used to test for gender and school context differences in the rankings of the four popularity determinants and seven sports or activities. The results indicated that overall, one's appearance was selected most frequently as the most important determinant of personal popularity although girls (62%) selected this determinant far more frequently than boys (30%). …

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